I played RPGs for about 10 years which culminated in getting the third edition of Ars Magica, creating characters, covenant etc... and then everyone from our group either went studying, got jobs or whatever. Anyway. Happily in games industry ever since, I've continued playing everything from boardgames to videogames, but it's been a few years since I've played RPGs. Over that time, I've had this small itch which became stronger as years passed. I never had the chance to experience Ars Magica.
So anyway, to cut long story short, I ordered (and got already) the fifth edition along with a few sourcebooks. And seeing how the ratio is between euro and dollar, I'll prolly be getting all of them
So far, I've mostly read fifth edition and from there the most crucial parts. Character creation, covenant, spells, combat etc. I've peeked into some of the sourcebooks, but mostly act as if they are something I can use later and just concentrate on the main game for now.
It definetly would do good to have a bit more charts and it's a bit confusing when some information is available on charts and some is hidden amongst the text.
Not to make this just a prattle, I'll ask a question which I didn't find an answer and it's a bit puzzling. Do you have to roll for concentration every time you cast a spell? There's the ease factor and chart available in the book, which to me seems to hint that especially when you are in combat, you'd have to concentrate every time. Also, even though the ease factor might be trivial (0), you can still botch and fail, right? So wouldn't that mean that you roll for concentration in every situation, be it trivial or not?
Our saga will probably start next year and it's slowly taking form in my mind. I have enough ideas for adventures etc. but the surrounding was something I had to think for a while. We'll have about 3-4 players and I love the idea that you switch characters. Doesn't matter if one of the players can't make it, we can still play easily. Also, I'll prolly have one player acting as another storyguide from time to time.
I had to think about the covenant for a while and I figured that as pretty much everyone of us is new to Ars Magica, we'll just concentrate on the characters and getting them pretty much right. I think I'll do the covenant myself and just write backstory etc for it. Designing a covenant from scrach with the players seems like real fun, but I think it might over-complicate things since there's already a lot to learn for the new players. I got the Covenants book and it'll probably come in handy.
Anyway, seems like you have a nice forum going and and the resources Ars Magica has in the net has been pretty cool so far. So here's one new player diving in!